Demonstrate in Support of Freedom of Expression on May 24, 25 and 26
The civil rights organisation Civil Liberty has called on all patriots to support a public demonstration in support of freedom of expression and persecuted former teacher Adam Walker in Birmingham city centre on 24, 25 and 26 May.
The dates coincide with Mr Walker’s new appearance in front of the General Teaching Council (GTC) which has sought to persecute him since November 2008 in a protracted struggle over the right of teachers to hold private political views.
According to Mr Walker’s legal representatives, the GTC has claimed that Mr Walker posted views "suggestive of racial and religious intolerance" using a pseudonym on the Internet while using a computer at the school where he was employed at the time.
“The first hearings ended in a fiasco when Mr Walker’s Solidarity trade union’s legal argument centred on the presence on the panel of Judy Moorhouse, an open and self-acknowledged vocal critic of the British National Party, to which Mr Walker belongs.
The clamour against Ms Moorhouse’s obvious unsuitability to sit on the panel grew overwhelming and the entire panel, tainted by her bias, resigned.
A new panel was appointed and heard legal arguments centred around human rights, data protection and privacy issues. The case has been postponed twice, once due to heightened tensions following EDL/UAF-Muslim clashes.
Mr Walker expressed his views under a pseudonym ('Corporal Fox') on a local internet forum. At no point did he draw attention to his role as a teacher or name his workplace.
It has been accepted that while those who ran the forum could trace the ISP address to a Sunderland council server, it could only be traced further by an internal investigation.
At no point was Mr Walker’s personal information regarding either his name or place of employment available to the public through the forum. There is thus no basis for saying that his actions brought the profession into disrepute.
Mr Walker’s comments included statements critical of asylum seekers who committed crimes whilst enjoying the protection and hospitality of our country.
Since these posts were made under a pseudonym and no personal email was made available to the public, there was no way to tie the statements to Mr Walker. As a result there was no way the public could ever have connected the comments with his role as a teacher or his workplace.
In fact, Mr Walker’s identity only came to light after the person running the local forum, Paul Jameson, linked to his postings — contrary to the site’s own stated policy and in breach of data protection and privacy principles.
“Mr Walker has admitted he was wrong to use his laptop to contribute to the forum during work time,” said Solidarity general secretary Patrick Harrington.
“That was a contractual matter between him and his employer and when he resigned, that should have been the end of the matter.
"We feel this raises human rights issues. He has a right, like every other citizen, to freedom of expression and association. The framing of the charge introduces politics into the picture, which opens the door for someone with aspirations to score party political points,” Mr Harrington said.
“The GTC has still not given a good enough reason as to why they want to overrule rights to freedom of expression for teachers with political and religious views.
“There is no link between Mr Walker's views and his professional role. There is no suggestion that he has treated anyone from a different religious background with anything other than respect,” he continued.
“Indeed, one pupil from such a background was moved to write to a local paper defending her former teacher and giving personal testimony as to how he had helped her.
"Misguided extremists have called for Mr Walker to be banned from teaching. They have been busy constructing a gallows on which to hang him.
“Our union says ‘no’ to these attacks on freedom of expression. To suggest that Mr Walker should face a lifetime ban from the profession of teaching merely for anonymously expressing his political views is completely unacceptable,” Mr Harrington said.
Mr Walker will appear before the GTC once again on 24 to 26 May in Birmingham city centre, and Civil Liberty has called for a demonstration on the theme 'Make a Noise for Freedom' outside the hearing on those days. The demonstration will start each day at 9am.
“All those who love freedom should attend. If we don't stand up against this PC nonsense now, where will it end? Today it is Adam Walker who they are trying to hang; tomorrow it could be you,” Mr Harrington concluded.